Flick zombies before they eat your braaaains

ZombieSmash represents the current apotheosis of enemy-flicking castle-defense games. Your rural home is your castle, and the foes to be flicked are a ravening variety of the undead.

ZombieSmash represents the current apotheosis of enemy-flicking castle-defense games. Your rural home is your castle, and the foes to be flicked are a ravening variety of the undead.

ZombieSmash mixes up the castle-defense format slightly, with a central house that you alternately have to defend from the left, right, and both sides, using both thumbs as your on-screen perspective shifts for each incoming wave. Your primary task is served well by the game's great visuals and sound effects: you can touch and flick (or drag and slam) zombies to kill them, watching them fly with rag-doll physics and erupt into cartoon gore and severed limbs. The game's campaign mode progresses through a clever calendar menu, as you survive 31 days (aka levels) in a very bloody March. ZombieSmash ramps up the difficulty with more and better zombie types, such as speedy Zombie Lucy and hulking, too-big-to-flick Zombie Bruno. What makes the game interesting, though (and survivable), is air-dropped special weapons, like mines, rocks, concrete blocks, and--most notably--a gun, which unfortunately has a slightly fussy interface. The game has 20 weapons in all that you can unlock, and the strategy of combining and conserving weapons is crucial, especially later in the game when you're presented with situations in which you're helpless without them.

Stars float up from zombies' bodies as they die, and you can tap to grab these quickly disappearing stars to spend later on weapon and capability upgrades, such as additional weapon slots (you start off being able to hold just two at a time). This interplay between deciding when and whether to grab stars while you're still facing a zombie onslaught is one of ZombieSmash's more elegant touches.

On top of its solid gameplay and meticulous production values, ZombieSmash comes with all sorts of extras. You get integration with Crystal and Playhaven (for leaderboards and achievements), "Endless Siege" and practice "Sandbox" modes (the latter lets you, for example, create a zombie popcorn-popper with a hundred Zombie Brunos and a bunch of mines), and the ability to watch a final kill in slow-mo--which you can then snap a pic of and e-mail, save, or upload to Facebook. ZombieSmash is a must-download for fans of zombies and/or castle defense.

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